Diana G. Gallagher's Doomsday
Deck features several elements that also cropped up Prime Evil,
in her earlier contribution to the younger readers' range - and, indeed,
half of the books in the series.
This time around the
new arrival in Sunnydale is Justine Camille, who is in town because of
the Sunnydale Sidewalk Art Festival that Joyce just happens to be
organising and being what is technically known as a hottie it doesn't
take a genius (or someone who's read the back cover blurb) to guess that
Xander Harris would be interested from the outset.
What follows is pretty
much the standard formula for one of Pocket Books' novels aimed at the
younger end of the material - new bad guy/girl ensnares one or more of
the Scoobies, there's a bit of research from Giles and then Buffy has to
save the day.
And as usual, there's
the usual sense that the whole thing's vaguely pointless due to the
obvious non-canonical (and, to be honest, even non-apocryphal) nature of
the novels. As in Prime Evil, Anya is lusting after Xander,
but there's no real sense in continuity, which is slightly annoying.
Now that the Angel
novels have found their feet, perhaps the younger Buffy novels
are starting to become a little surplus to requirements. In fact,
if Tarot cards hadn't already been featured in Pocket Books' Charmed
range, that side of Doomsday Deck wouldn't have been out of
place in an adventure for the Halliwells.
Although easy to read, Doomsday
Deck is hardly rivetting stuff. Don't expect too much and
you'll have a diverting way to spend an hour or two, but that's about
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